Apr 23 2013

Roxbourne Model Railway

train_stationRun by the Harrow and Wembley Society of Model Engineers, the local Roxbourne Model Railway is a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon through the Summer. Operating through to October, 2013, on Sundays only between 2.30pm and 5.00pm, you can take part in train rides around Roxbourne Park in Eastcote. There’s a charge of 50p per person, and passengers of any age are permitted, although very small children must be accompanied.

The railway can be found on Field End Road , Ruislip, opposite the Venue 5 Pub, and there is ample free car parking on site, although no toliet facilities.

According to the Society’s website:

In March 1976 final agreement with the Harrow Council had been achieved. The lease was accepted and work was started by Harrow Council workers on the site close to the western end of Roxboume Park. A new access road was constructed from Field End Road leading to a car park. The track foundations were excavated and laid with “hoggin” (a clay/gravel mixture which is traditionally used for path foundations). The workmen, more familiar with laying paths, included a number of sharp comers. Phil Hains had to persuade them to return and realign the foundations with gradual curves suitable for a railway. The “back straight” still retains a dog-leg kink which was not in the original design. The Club had purchased quantities of fine ballast which was laid loose on the “hoggin” foundations. The track, constructed of aluminium rail fixed, with screws, to sleepers was laid in the ballast. At a later date the sections of track were secured with long spikes driven down into the foundations.

On the 6th June 40 feet of new track was laid with the permanent way team, with a toast of orange squash, wishing good running to all those who would pass this way! The aim was to have 300-400 feet down in the season so running could begin. Hard work by all concerned resulted in 600 feet in place by late September. The concentrated efforts on the new track did not stop the running a Headstone lane where many of those working at Roxboume were seen running their locos throughout the fine summer Sunday afternoons. The Friday track building volunteers were set the task of completing the final 125 feet of track to complete the circuit on Sunday 17 October. The first running took place during the afternoon – a week before schedule.

As recorded afterwards: “The assortment of driving positions adopted were, to say the least, quite interesting but none the less the drivers seemed happy. Those who practice the art of yoga were quite comfortable.” Developing the art of ground level driving was described graphically at a later date: “The top curve was first for treatment (super elevation), and providing you round it in excess of twenty miles per hour you will remain on the track; ‘bum puckering’ I believe describes the situation best.”

The capacity of “Midge” to pull passengers at ground level no doubt encouraged members who had suggested that bigger locomotives would be ideal at Roxbourne Park. The construction of larger passenger carrying carriages was in hand and a group of members were engaged in building six 7¼”g Class 5 “Highlanders”.

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